Tag Archives: bread

Blue Ribbon Yeast Bread (no kneading required!)

18 Oct
Another blue ribbon for my little baker!

Another blue ribbon for my little baker!

Leandro has done it again! My seven-year-old won another blue ribbon at the Long Island Fair for his baking in the Junior Culinary division! What better way of celebrating than sharing it with you on the day of my 550th post and the fourth anniversary of this blog?

Sizing up the competition

Sizing up the competition

Last year it was his Oatmeal Raisin Cranberry Chocolate Chip Drop Cookies. This year it was an extension of his successful Science Fair project on yeast. We’ve been making a lot of the no-knead refrigerator bread we began making for that, so he decided that would be his submission as it is something he can do almost entirely by himself now.

The Exhibition Hall

The Exhibition Hall

This bread, slightly modified from our original to include some whole wheat flour, has terrific sponginess, nice, not-too-crunchy crust, and good yeasty flavor. (My colleagues at LINCC can attest to this, as I brought in some practice loaves)

We get better results with quick-acting yeast than regular AND we include our tips for encouraging the yeast to activate. This is the easiest bread you can imagine and you can keep the extra dough in the fridge for whenever you want warm bread.

Celebratory candy apple. Don't judge....

Celebratory candy apple. Don’t judge….

I’m so proud of him…and in a life where it’s not always clear that I am doing things right, at least I can feel that I am sending him into the world with a love of good food and an ability to feed himself. Yay us!

Fresh out of the oven

Fresh out of the oven

Leandro’s Award-Winning No-Knead Refrigerator Bread

3 Cups warm water (it should feel cozy-comfortable on the hands)

1.5 Tbs salt

1.5 Tbs quick-acting yeast

5.5 Cups unbleached white flour

1 Cup stone ground whole wheat flour

Extra virgin olive oil or other fat for greasing the loaf pan.

Container large enough to hold this much flour and water only doubled in size. You’ll want a cover for it.

Place the water in a large container and dissolve the salt into it.

Stir in the yeast until well mixed. Wait a few minutes for it to begin foaming nicely. We put it on top of a warm toaster oven to encourage yeast activity.

Add the flour, all at once. Stir with a big spoon until well mixed into a sticky dough and there are no big air pockets.

Cover loosely and allow to rise 1-2 hours in a warm place. Again, we put it on top of our toaster oven when it’s on low.

Cover (punching down if necessary) and place in fridge (for up to three weeks).

When you are ready for fresh bread, preheat oven to 450°F. Grease a loaf tin and grab a half to a third of the dough (putting the rest back in the fridge for next time). With greased hands, form a loaf (the cold dough and the fat on your hands — we use olive oil — will keep it from sticking to you), Place in loaf pan and slash across the top with a knife (for a pretty finish) and top with a bit of olive oi if desired. Bake for about 30 minutes or until crust is golden. You can give it a blast at 500°F for the last few minutes to develop the crust more.

Easy and Delicious French Toast

6 Sep

French toast was a special treat when my brother and I were small. The very name seemed elegant and the stacks of golden bread looked so beautiful and the maple syrup was so heady and rich. Who knew it was as basic as bread dipped in egg and fried?

French toast is happy food!

French toast is happy food!

So, much to the delight of a certain six-year-old, I took advantage of my first day off of the semester (L’shana tovah to all of those celebrating the new year this week) and made some for breakfast yesterday, with (shock,horror) white sliced bread that I had in the freezer simply because they were giving it away at the Stop & Shop and I couldn’t bear to let it go to waste!

I cut off the crusts in a familial reflex (that’s what my parents used to do) but I realized that I didn’t have to! At any rate, the crusts became the bread crumbs for my meatballs later, so no matter.

So, basic French toast. An easy treat! Would love to hear how you dress up yours (click here for an cool story on Burning Man French toast).

The sliced apples were a big hit with the French toast, dipped judiciously in the maple syrup and cinnamon.

The sliced apples were a big hit with the French toast, dipped judiciously in the maple syrup and cinnamon.

French Toast

1-2 Tbs butter

3 eggs

¼ Cup milk

8 Slices of bread

Maple syrup


Melt the butter in a skillet at medium to medium high.

Beat the eggs and milk together on plate or bowl that is wide enough to accommodate a slice of bread, but won’t spill over.

Dip each slice of bread in the egg mixture just before placing in the skillet (do not soak the bread). Cook about two minutes on each side. Serve with maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon or your favorite topping.

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